axoxnxs Anthony Jay Ptak

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My apparatus frees the composer from the despotism of the twelve-note tempered piano scale.

- Lev Sergeivich Theremin, 1927


stars anthony jay ptak

Anthony Jay Ptak is an altermodern artist and a composer born in Brooklyn, New York in 1970. He grew up near the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the RCA Radio Central testing facility. An inviolable autodidacticist, he has studied with Tony Conrad, Paul Sharits, Lydia Kavina, and Herbert Brün, and had technical consultations with Robert Moog. He performed at the First International Theremin Festival. He has been a guest theremin artist under director Scott Wyatt at the historic Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2000. He was appointed visiting researcher in 2001, and participated in the C4A Computing for the Arts initiative for Fine and Applied Arts at UIUC. He taught sound art and musique concrète for new media artists at the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has presented at Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), School of the Art Institute, Chicago Cultural Center, St. Louis Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, FFMUP Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Roulette Intermedium, The Kitchen, and Issue Project Room in New York. He was first introduced to the theremin in 1987 by improviser Eric Ross. He began playing an etherwave theremin kit 0017 in 1995. A. J. Ptak is a founding member of the New York Theremin Society. He currently resides in New York City and was a visiting scholar at NYU Department of Art and Art Professions. In fall 2008 he was admitted to the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at Tisch School of the Arts, (M.P.S. 2010). He performed Live Bar-coding at NIME 2010 Sydney, Australia. In 2011 he joined adjunct faculty at NYU Department of Music. Anthony Ptak was diagnosed with brain cancer CNS lymphoma in 2011, currently in remission.

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New music of this twenty-first century requires, in fact it necessitates, a non-music. Sound as art is an axis of information constrained only by our perceptive bandwidth, dismissive of all systems and parameter limitations.

- Anthony Jay Ptak, 2006

Table of Contents

Anthony Ptak performing Interference in 2006.

stars1997 20 year anniversary photo of lesson with Lydia Kavina. Photo by Olivia Mattis.

Livestrong Ambassador YMCA

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I was diagnosed with CNS Lymphoma (brain cancer) in 2011. This form of cancer has a devastating effect on the central nervous system. I lost control of my left hand, arm, and leg. My vision was also double. I was told by my doctor that if I worked to retrain my body and mind I could recover much of my strength and function. Fortunately I found out about the Livestrong Program at the YMCA in 2012. I partnered with my trainers Janet and Yalitza at the Chinatown YMCA to work on strength training, cardio exercise, swimming, aerobics, and even basketball, and boxing to get myself in shape. Most importantly going to the YMCA built my confidence, as I continue to recover today. I consider the YMCA a home away from home, a place where I am welcomed, and encouraged to grow mentally and physically. Thank you YMCA. -ANTHONY PTAK, 2010s | CHINATOWN YMCA

3-D Prototyping at LaGuardia Studios

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I transposed my 2 dimensional graphic drawing into a 3 dimensional sculpture object using a 3D printer. The work is tactile, accessible, similar to a braille for music, learned by touch, for any instrument object or action. Accessibility in art. Developed for and inspired by Art Beyond Sight following ADI Art Disability Institute 2017.

Dis Exhibition


Dis opens at the Gallery at Industry City 2017.
Opening Reception: June 22, 2017, 6:00pm–8:00pm.

The Gallery at Industry City is located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Entrance at 254 or 274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232.

Dis is on view from Thursday, June 22, 2017 - Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Read the dis Press release by The Dedalus Foundation and Art Beyond Sight.

See the dis exhibition catalogue

Read an article about my experiences at Dis and ADI. The Future of Art is Disabled

Official Dis Installation Images

View the official Dis gallery images.

ADI 2016 Gallery slides 2016


ADI Gallery slides for application, 2016. link Slide show gallery work for artist nomination application review.

My goals as an artist are to promote acceptance of difference and to design a society which allows for empathy and degrees of freedom despite the constraints we may find ourselves challenged by — whether genetically encoded, or otherwise acquired, in the complexities of our society.
— Anthony Ptak, 2015

ADI Symposium 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 • 2:00pm - 8:30pm. Dedalus Foundation, 25 E 21st Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010.


Press release Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 2:00pm to 8:30pm. Art Beyond Sight's inaugural class of Art and Disability Institute artists will be joined by thought leaders and professionals in contemporary art, disability studies, art history, media, cultural studies, and the social sciences to explore these and other related subjects.Dedalus Foundation 25 East 21st Street, Fourth Floor 10010 New York , NY United States

Artist Talks

dis at The Gallery at Industry City 274 36th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY 11232 Saturday, July 8, 12:30–5pm. The inaugural artists of ABS's Art and Disability Institute converge their diverse body of work under the banner of dis, three letters that can reverse, revoke, rebuke, rebuff or, perhaps, release social stereotypes. These artists redefine"dis" as both a subjective and objective experience. Artist talks at dis.


ADI Exhibition Opening Reception

Thursday, June 22, 2017 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm. The Gallery at Industry City, entrance at 254 or 274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232.

On view from Thursday, June 22, 2017 - Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Creativity: Solving Problems within Constraints

Art and Medicine

brain cancer in orange painting

Article on Leonardo by Eathan Janney.

Writings: the Story You Tell

  1. Read the Ephemeral Piano Concerto by Anthony Ptak
  2. Read Why Try article Disability Stories on by Anthony Ptak (external link)
  3. Read about the physician who saved my life. Mission Remission by Anthony Ptak

I bridge distances between disparate communities. I speak the language of technologists, create change, and advocate access and openness by seeing what others will not see, and saying what others will not say. I am an artist, composer, interaction designer, educator, critical thinker, musical scientist, performer, public speaker, writer and brain cancer survivor.

- Anthony Jay Ptak, 2017

Sweet Gongs Vibrating 2016


UCSD. SDAI. San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, San Diego. Sweet Gongs Vibrating is a multimedia, multi-sensory exhibition that aspires to activate the sensorial qualities of objects in order to illustrate alternative narratives regarding access, place and space. Brought to you by SDAI curator-in-residence Amanda Cachia, Sweet Gongs Vibrating opens Saturday, March 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through Saturday, May 28, 2016.


Difference Frequencies 2015


Difference Frequencies NYC Art Exhibition at the Creative Center, October 2nd through November 28th, 2015: Houston Street Center, 273 Bowery St. New York, New York.
Featured solo performance of Difference Frequencies by violinist Serge Zenisek on October 2nd, 2015.
An article in Upworthy about this exhibition, read here. Also featured on NYU Tisch ITP site here

Thursday4Diagram Tweet
Notes on an exhibition
Difference Frequencies. Because it encompasses ideas about Difference in the social sense of Disability, and a more theoretical understanding of wave based physics, and biological differences found in the Trisomy realm of genetic encoding. And the political and social dialectic that produces a difference as a product of input to a given systematic schema. The answer lies somewhere in the numbers 3 and 21. -A.J. Ptak 7/2015

Make Music New York


Make Music New York presents... 12 Theremini Mass Appeal ensemble performance on Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park conducted and composed by Alexa Dexa. Summer 2015. Theremini workshop sponsored in part by Moog Music


Photoville 2014


September 19, 2014 7:30 – 10:00PM a special live event – Anthony Ptak performs theremin soundtrack live as part of Narratively After Dark at Photoville NYC. Accompanied by world premiere of the Xtremecane project, a video art projection and live Question/Answer session at Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC.


NY Theremin Society International, Edition 2013


The New York Theremin Society: International Edition concert at Joe's Pub on June 28, 2013 at 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003. The world premiere of Simplexity.13

Brain Cancer 2011: Mission Remission


Diagnosed with CNS lymphoma, brain cancer in February 2011. In remission since August 2011 after undergoing chemotherapy.
linkRead DNAinfo story here.
linkRead Narratively story here.
linkWatch the video Up! produced by the YMCA of New York City.
linkView the Xtremecane preview.

Solving Problems within Constraints:

link LocateFlow Interview by neuroscience researcher Eathan Janney, recorded at New Media Lab, CUNY. linkView the @Sabi_brand cane blog feature. img

NIME 2010


New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Sydney, Australia 2010. NIME Live Bar-coding


MATA Interval 3.1: Architectures of Sound

Architectures of Sound

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Doors Open at 8PM Site-specific performance and composition.
Issue Project Room @ The (OA) Can Factory 232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11215. MATA Interval 3.1.
Announcement on Sequenza21.

Big Screens 2009



Project 21 for Big Screens 2009 was designed Fall of 2009. It was on view at the IAC Building on 555 W 18th Street, New York, NY. Friday, December 4, 2009 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Interactive Telecommunications Program. Screen dimensions for the video wall 120 ft x 12 ft.

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Elusive Instrument



Elusive Instrument was designed 2008-2009. On view at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program ITP Spring Show May 10th and 11th 2009. 721 Broadway, New York, New York.




The unpredictability of this composition system is intended to be offset and is unstable by design. I utilize simple means to produce complex results. The relation of the antenna to the work is an anti-communicative one. Failure of communication produces argument, and as a consequence, thought, provocation, and a new system. This work has a social concern. A concern about all transmissions and how they operate in our experience. A public will be conscious of a system in operation, its traces, and possibilities modulated from one's choice to action. In this circumstance we must depend on each other for information. As we acquire information we make decisions. In making decisions we are learning. In learning we are composing language. I am interested in what takes place between the transmission of the work itself, and the receiver of the work, in the development of these continuously offset hierarchies, in a system of encoding and decoded information. (Informodulation for exhibition Between Thought and Sound at the Kitchen 2007) - AJ Ptak

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Informodulation.08 48 inches x 72 inches on canvas.

Tumbleweed at Roulette Intermedium


New performance scheduled for 8:30pm on June 20th, 2009 at Roulette Intermedium. 20 Green Street, New York, NY. Details about this performance with Cyrus Pireh and David Means described here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 @ 8:30 pm
20 Greene Street between Canal and Grand Streets, SoHo, New York, NY. Tumbleweed A collaborative performance installation for prepared electric guitars, theremin and projections David Means with Cyrus Pireh and Anthony Ptak. Tumbleweed combines archival images from the American dust bowl with interactions and improvisations of musicians and live electronics.
link Roulette archive

Chelsea Art Museum


New work scheduled for October 11, 2008 2:00 pm at Chelsea Art Museum. 556 West 22nd Street, New York, NY. Details about this Notations 21 concert program and exhibition series. Read more about the book publication of graphic scores.

An article on New Music Box (external link)

Presentation at Frog Design


A digital theremin presentation at Frog Design. 325 Hudson Street, New York, NY.



Works inspired by shortwave radio at 106BLDG30. Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 19, 2008. Curated by Bruce Tovsky.

The Stone


The most anticipated 2008 performance at The Stone in East Village of New York City. Series curator Elliott Sharp. Scheduled for March 25, 2008 at 10:00 pm. Location is at the corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street. Theremin antenna control of digital oscillators, software, and acousmatic sound.




Aelita at International House 3701 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA. February 9th 2008 at 8:00 pm. Theremin sound for film with Gene Coleman and Ensemble Noamnesia. Aelita, Queen of Mars. Russia, 1924. 100 min. Discussion and demonstration to follow screening and performance.



Addenda published January 2008 on Seasonal. Addenda series curator is Ben Owen. Photo plus audio file contributions. Aedan Hearing Test Incident New York City December, 2007. Recording April, 2007. Unprocessed. Copper Pipe in Grain Silo Elevator Urbana, Illinois.

Dual Theremins at Galapagos Art Space


Two theremins and electronic visual projections at Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg Brooklyn on December 26, 2007 at 8:00 pm. Located at 70 North 6th Street Brooklyn, New York 11211. Javier Diez Ena, theremin. Anthony Ptak, theremin. Zach Layton, projections. Darmstadt Contemporary Music Series.

A Monochord Performance at Zebulon


Ensemble featuring monochord by Ptak in improv performance with Cyrus Pireh on alto sax, Matt Mehlan on alto sax, and Tony Lowe on guitar at Zebulon Cafe Concert in Williamsburg Brooklyn on November 14, 2007 at 10:00 pm.

NY Phonography Meeting III


New York Phonographers at 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden, Lower East Side, New York City, NY. September 30, 2007 at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Between Thought and Sound


The Kitchen 512 West 19th Street New York, NY. Exhibition September 7 through October 20, 2007. Between Thought and Sound: Graphic Notation in Contemporary Music. Opening reception on Friday September 7, 2007 at 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

Exploring the intersection of drawing and sound, this show includes experimental scores by more than twenty contemporary composers who relinquish traditional musical notation in favor of their own invented visual systems of pictorial or graphic elements.

Curated by Alex Waterman, Debra Singer, and Matthew Lyons.


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Definition of exhibition title Agape.

Photos of exhibition Agape slides.

Press release of exhibition Agape press.



Insistentia.07: Version for Miguel Abreu Gallery New York, NY 2007

Program note by Anthony Jay Ptak (b. 1970)
In a public space where people are speaking, and not necessarily to one another, there are messages being sent. Each utterance of sound is a transmission, a reception, an exchange offset by noise. A moment of speech is an incident. When these moments, or indices, coincide they are coincident. Coincident relations are not intentioned. They occur in the recognition of our perception of a system of relations. A coincident dichotomy can produce a third object, out of difference, that would not have otherwise been perceived. The action of observation produces an affect on that system which is being observed. Compositional practice (that is message transmission and reception) is dependant on an axiom, a mutable operand of distraction, as an audience listens for this message.

See archive

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37th Festival Synthese Bourges


37th Festival Synthese Bourges June 10, 2007. Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, France. Melancholy - Projet Oeuvre Ouverte.

The Sympathetic (2007) Duration: 5:00 minutes Composer: Anthony Jay Ptak

Program Note: The Sympathetic refers to the sympathy of others, as well as to sympathetic vibrations in sound. Melancholy is the transitory resonance or emotional affect of this work. In this sound space it is hoped that the work alters the human spirit in musical consolation. Although the elapsed time of this composition is five minutes, the perceived duration is infinite. The loneliness, fears, and despondency of a melancholic human struggle is transformed, as a transcendental aural reflection dissipates into an ether of tears and joy. The inspired contradiction of this sadness leaves the listener of this music in a disposition of feeling an effervescent melancholia. - A.J. Ptak

A Lab is a Lab is a Lab

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The Kitchen May 24, 2007 8pm. 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY.

A Lab is a Lab is a Lab curated by Bradley Eros and Matthew Lyons.

An evening of live projections and musical performances featuring unique collaborations between sound and image makers utilizing unusual instruments and sources including the theremin, brainwaves, photocells, oscilloscopes, X-rays, contact microphones, anamorphic lenses, and the magic lantern.

Participating artists Maria Chavez, Angie Eng, Bradley Eros, Andy Graydon, Sarah Ibrahim, Zach Layton, Anthony Ptak, Joel Schlemowitz, Lary Seven, Ray Sweeten, and Keiko Uenishi each perform solos and duets that explore the subversions and rediscoveries connecting science, mystery, and desire.

Media programs at The Kitchen are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Cyrus Pireh and Anthony Ptak at Roulette NYC


Roulette Intermedium May 20, 2007 8:00 pm. 20 Greene Street between Canal and Grand Streets, SoHo, New York, NY.

"Cyrus Pireh is the world's greatest living electric guitarist. Anthony Jay Ptak is an experimental thereminist, artist, and composer." -

1. All Notes for guitar and theremin. Duration 20:00
2. Acrosynaptic for theremin and autoguitar. Duration 20:00

linkView and listen description and photo.
link Roulette archive

Hearing Aids


GCAP Artists Against AIDS April 27 - 30, 2007 at the Orpheum, 346 N. Neil Street, Champaign, IL. img

Phonologistic Auralities 2007


Open Source Art April 21 - 22, 2007 12 E. Washington, Champaign, IL.

Sound art works by 13 sound artists. Runs continuous.

American Society for Cybernetics 2007 Conference


ASC March 29 to April 1, 2007 Urbana, IL. Constructivism, Design, Cybernetics: Radical, Social, 2nd-order. Independent Media Center 202 S. Broadway.

Acrosynaxis performance and presentation.

Sensorium Series at Issue Project Room

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Sensorium series March 16, 2007 Theremin Society in residence at Issue Project Room, 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York.

Synesthesia is the theme for this performance series.
linkView poster. linkView schedule.
linkView picture.


Theremin Society IV 2007 BAM Brooklyn Next Festival

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February 24, 2007 The couplings series presented as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music Brooklyn NEXT festival. Issue Project Room's Theremin Society performance at Issue Project Room, 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York.

Duo performances with:
Anthony Ptak and Nicolas Collins. Michael Evans and Andrea Parkins. Rob Schwimmer and Dorit Chrysler. David Simons and Lisa Karrer. Elizabeth Brown and Stephanie Skaff.

linkView schedule. linkSee poster. img

Couplings: Likely, Unlikely and Actual

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February 10, 2007 First set performance with Alex Waterman cellist at Issue Project Room series. Second set Lee Ranaldo+ Leah Singer.

Curated by Suzanne Fiol.

Theremeeting at La Dinamo in Madrid


Theremin Duo and solo performances with Javier Díez Ena Friday, January 19, 2007, 10:00 pm at Ladinamo Asociación Cultural, C/ Mira el Sol 2, Madrid (España).

Thanks to Javi-thereminista and Laura Díez Ena. Details available soon.

link Announcement on portal para la difusión del arte sonoro.

Especial AV Lab in Madrid

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Media Lab Madrid Experimental theremin performance Saturday, January 13, 2007, 7:00 pm at Media Lab in Centro Cultural Conde Duque, C/ Conde Duque 11, 28015 · Madrid (España).

Plataforma de encuentro para la creación y difusión de las artes sonoras y visuales.

Sincere thanks to Daniel Gonzalez, DJ Hidráulico, Marcos García. Details available soon.

American Ophoniste Idol 2006


Ophoniste Medal in collaborative sound performance What Time is Love with Amy Granat. Included cell phone, broken glass, and utensils. Jury: Andrew Phillips ( Flavorpill) Michael J Schumacher ( Diapason) Nick Stillman ( PS1).

American Ophoniste Idol Tuesday, November 21, 8:30pm at Monkey Town, 58 North 3rd Street between Blythe and Kent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

"The Four Ophones "is an interactive sound installation that allows the users to record sounds that are replayed infinitely until replaced by other sounds. The installation provides a space for playful musical collaboration and language-independent conversations where the visitors themselves become composers, instrumentalists, and listeners at the same time. The Ophones foster everything from subtle interference etudes to collaborative chanting, semi-automated social commentary to dense polyrhythmic drone parties." - Unsworn

Sound Art for Sound Minds

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Sound Art for Sound Minds A lecture and performance series sponsored by the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art. Featuring sound artist Nicolas Collins. Opening antenna interference performance by Anthony Ptak.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 9, 2006, 7:30 pm.

Curated by AJ Ptak.

link New Picture from SASM performance! (Photo courtesy David L. Hays)

Midwest Noise Festival - Noisefest!

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Noisefest! October 20 - 22 , 2006 - LNAC Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center 3301 Lemp Ave. St Louis, Missouri. Experimental Aesthetic and Composition Workshop.

Performance Sunday October 22, 2006 at 3:15 pm.

Curated by Mark Sarich.
link Photo


img Video 6:19 © 2006

Spellbound: a Program of Music for Theremin


Spellbound Axoxnxs is now featured on Cygnus Radio syndicated theremin podcast hosted by David Vesel.

Most recent broadcasts Sunday August 27, 2006, Sunday January 7, 2007.

Performance at Peter Jones Gallery


Benefit performance event for Chicago artist Patrick McCarthy.

September 1-2, 2006 7pm to 11pm at Peter Jones Gallery 1806 West Cuyler, 2nd Floor, Chicago, Illinois.



Informodulation A theremin antenna based sound art installation.

imgExperience this new media interactive art work at the Krannert Art Museum on view from August 24 through September 24, 2006 located at 500 East Peabody Drive, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

Informodulation. Mixed media (metal electrode, horn, oscillator.) I find an intuitive sense of electro-magnetism. I observe changes in the atmosphere. One is made aware of the perpetual syntactic flux of communal affect. The fragility of our environment is counter balanced only by the unpredictability of influence. Every decision made swings the pendulum into frenetic micro oscillations rendering macroscopic capacitance shifts. A society is prescient in the presence of an anti-communicative resonance that makes one necessary. Informodulation is our state of resistance wrapped in a valanced capacity for making an impossible social change by modulating the infrastructure of temporary systems we perceive in dissipation. Information presents itself. One interprets. Modulation results in an action one chooses to take. Each gesture is a provocation in a field of indexes. - AJ Ptak

Paste Magazine Feature

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Theremin Photos featured in Paste Magazine article about the New York City Theremin Summit.

Issue 23, pages 20-21. On stands now! Radiohead on cover.
Photos of thereminist Anthony Ptak and the NYC Theremin Society by Alicia Hansen.

A Concert for Solo Theremin in La Granja, Spain

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Theremin Performance in Spain Calart Actual - Iglesia de San Juan Nepomuceno July 22, 2006 8pm at Plaza del Teatro S/N Real Sitio de la Granja de San Ildefonso - 40100 Segovia - Espana.

linkRecording now available.

Art of Music Festival


The Art of Music STAC Exhibition July 15 to August 19, 2006 at Mills Pond House Gallery 660 Route 25A St. James, New York.

Copper Score, Copper Performance, Copper Pipe works and documents now on display.

Points in a Circle: Site-Specific Works for the Hemispheres at Issue Project Room


Points in a Circle July 8, 2006 8pm at Issue Project Room 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York. Site-specific work presented on IPR's 16-Channel Hemispheric Speaker System. Multi-oscillator polyphonic theremin performance with Cyrus Pireh, Stephan Moore, and David Linton.
Curated by Suzanne Fiol and Stephan Moore.

The End of Music. img_cyrus_pirehI recognize the end of music. As an artist I establish a relation without enforcing a relation. An audience, that is to say a public, ought never be captive. A space can be transformed by the unfamiliar in an arena of recognition. The work is the connection made by the receiver of information, the transmission is the catalyst for this exchange. My expectations are to modulate the signal of infrastructure, to utilize simple means to produce complex results. The theremin is electromagnetism, aether made present in the modulation of transformative wave energy that inducts and traces an exponential axis of gestural interference. The frequency of oscillation along a unified temporal axis, reflects a recursive bridging of distance in a soundscape of interference. We listen to the world as a system of associative indices. Sound is a physical axis that occupies and transforms space. The heterophony of the theremin antenna is navigation. - AJ Ptak

Aerodynamics of the Hovering Hummingbird: Science, Cinema, and Ways of Seeing

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Millennium Film Workshop April 29, 2006 8pm at Millennium Film Workshop. 66 East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue) New York, New York. See the Millennium site.

Curated by Jennifer MacMillan and Bradley Eros.

Acrosynaxis performance for thereminvox
Utilizing the theremin's principle of interference to feed back into itself an exponential deconstruction of the instrument, the frequency of oscillation along a unified temporal axis, reflects a recursive bridging of distance in a soundscape of interference. Much like the 1000th of a second captured image of Warrick's hovering hummingbird, or the Kino-Glaz reality 24 times per second delineated by Dziga Vertov, or John Cage's Future of Music Credowhich alludes to Beethoven as a material operating at 50 times per second and rejects imitative use of the theremin. This electro-acousmatic work concentrates on sound as a carrier of information. - AJ Ptak

link New Picture from Millennium performance! (Photo by Peter Steinberg)

Phonologistic Auralities

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Phonologistic Auralities Sound Art Installation opens April 21, 2006 at Independent Media Center Urbana, Illinois.

Sound is an axis of information. - AJ Ptak

24-channel collaborative work in a former US postal facility with 13 of my sound artist students. Part of an immersive arts event Late Night Space curated by improviser Jason Finkelman for Boneyard Arts Festival. Sponsored by 40 North Champaign County Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council.

Theremin Society Part III

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New York Experimental Theremin Orchestra April 8, 2006 8pm at Issue Project Room 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York.

linkSee the poster.

Panel discussion April 9, 2006 at 1pm.

Issue Project Room with Stephan Moore and Tres Silencio

Anthony Ptak stars

Issue Project Room February 23, 2006 8pm at Issue Project Room 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York.

Multi-oscillator polyphonic theremin performance with sound artists Stephan Moore and Tres Silencio, plus digital video art by Diana Slattery.

linkSee one of the 16 hemispheres.


Theremin Society/ Theremin Association

Anthony Ptak

link New pictures from Issue Project Room performance! (photos by Peter Gannushkin)


New York Experimental Theremin Orchestra February 4, 2006 8pm at Issue Project Room 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York.

linkSee the poster.

Thereminism. I use this term in order to differentiate a twenty-first century advocacy for the advancement of this antenna instrument of inventor Lev Termen from any fixed ideas. The theremin is electromagnetism, aether made present in the modulation of transformative wave energy that inducts and traces an exponential axis of gestural interference. - AJ Ptak

Theremin Presentation at Institute for Advanced Study

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Wolfensohn Hall December 21, 2005 theremin presentation at IAS Princeton, New Jersey.

Thanks to artist-in-residence composer Jon Magnussen.

Theremin Orchestra

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Theremin Orchestra December 2, 2005 8pm at Issue Project Room 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Brooklyn, New York

Thereminism. I use this term in order to differentiate a twenty-first century advocacy for the advancement of this antenna instrument of inventor Lev Termen from any fixed ideas. The theremin is electromagnetism, aether made present in the modulation of transformative wave energy that inducts and traces an exponential axis of gestural interference. - AJ Ptak

FFMUP at Princeton University


FFMUP October 18, 2005 8pm theremin performance at Terrace Club 62 Washington Road Princeton, New Jersey.

linkSee picture.

Thanks to sound artists/ composers Seth Cluett and Newton Armstrong.



The Art of Music STAC Exhibition July 23 to August 27, 2005 at Mills Pond House Gallery 660 Route 25A St. James, New York.

This artwork is intended to evoke both the abstract and functional aspects of music. It is a visual representation of the physical space music occupies. It is also an instrument that can be played in any tuning configuration. Vibration is transferred from steel to wood. Many experiments were done using a device called a monochord inspired by the mathematician Pythagoras in the 6th century BC; it had one string used to measure ratios. Ekphonetic notation, to which the title refers, was one of the earliest attempts to systematize the way in which we hear (reception) and play music (transmission). This notation was based on speech and not exact pitch in Greece and Asia in the 5th to 7th centuries AD. Sulponticello means to play near or on the bridge of the instrument resulting in a sound with a voice-like rasp when bowed and more upper harmonic frequencies when plucked. With this instrument the artist seeks to create complex results from simple economical means. The work serves as a kinetic reference to the temporal (horizontal) and the timbral (vertical) aspects of a musical axis. The receiver of this work is encouraged to examine systems critically and to experiment as listener, observer, and composer in the world. - AJ Ptak



Thereminther e min sometimes ter n -s [after Leo Theremin b. 1896 engineer and inventor]: a purely melodic instrument of the electronic family typically played by moving the right hand between two projecting electrodes with the left hand controlling dynamics and articulation - ther e min ist 1.

1. G & C Merriam Co. 1971 p. 2372 Webster's Third New International

The Copper Pipe Project

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Copper Pipe invented instrument built 1995. An audience, that is to say a public, ought never be captive. In my public works I attempt to establish a relation without enforcing a relation. Listening is a way we navigate a space. This space can be transformed by the unfamiliar in the arena of recognition. The work is the connection made by the receiver of information, the transmission is the catalyst for this exchange. Related compositions include Incidentia.01 and American Copper.

American Copper


American Copper composition written 2002, MAVerick Festival for Copper Pipe and bowed Berimbau (Jason Finkelman.) Related compositions include Incidentia.01. Thanks to percussionist Sarah Hennies.

linkSee also Lycaena phlaeas.


img YouTube Video 1:00 © 2002


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Wavefields CD The Experimental Music Studios of UIUC, Fall 2005 release. Liner notes: Axoxnxs (2005) [7:00] This electro- acousmatic work concentrates on sound as a carrier of information. We listen to the world as a system of associative indices. The acoustics of the natural world are analyzed, along with synthetically generated phenomena. Sound is a physical axis that occupies and transforms space. The heterophony of the theremin antenna is navigation. All sonic materials acquired, performed, and assembled by the composer. - AJ Ptak



Axoxnography Sound writing research.

Archived syllabus.


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Silence and Time Colloquium at IAS Participant in an interdisciplinary discussion group at Institute for Advanced Study, Fall 2005.

link Insistentia.05 Project directions, composition, and performance for Quaker Meeting House.

Theremin: Art meets Technology


TEPMEH event at Krannert Art Museum in October 2000.
Thanks to art historian Paula Braga and to Fabio Kon.
link Photo from November performance with Wilco Botermans at Highdive.

linkArticle about Botermans USA visit.

1997 First International Theremin Festival


on stage with Lydia First International Theremin Festival in Portland, Maine. Featuring, workshops, presentations, and performances by Lydia Kavina, Robert Moog, Eric Ross, Albert Glinsky, and Olivia Mattis....
on stage with Moog

axoxnxs ™ Anthony Jay Ptak

© 2000 2017 A. Ptak axoxnxs all rights reserved.


ems stars

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Bibliography: Transmission Arts, Artists & Airwaves, PAJ Publications, 2011.
Notations 21, Mark Batty Publishers, 2009.
Between Thought and Sound, The Kitchen, 2007.

linkArtworks currently available at Saatchi Art gallery .